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Korn - Requiem (Album Review)

Tuesday, 08 February 2022 Written by Will Marshall

Photo: Tim Saccenti

Korn changed the face of metal forever when they launched their self-titled debut way back in 1994, fusing vulnerability, aggression and downtuned riffage into something raw and exciting. Since then they’ve endured lineup changes, stylistic shifts that have divided their fanbase and, of late, something of a career renaissance.

With ‘Requiem’, there’s a clear desire to meld their more rock-oriented direction with their heavier roots, producing mixed results. Opener Forgotten has a bouncy groove that wouldn’t have been out of place during nu-metal’s heyday but its chorus is a slog.

Long-time fans will be pleased by the presence of Jonathan Davis’s harsher vocals, even if Let The Dark Do The Rest utilises them only incongruously in its final seconds.

The song suffers from the same issue of a dreary chorus and there’s a real disconnect between the last six or so seconds and the rest of its running time. 

This is an introspective album in many ways, forged while forest fires raged near the studio and in the face of personal loss. Start The Healing is perhaps the most obvious reference to this thanks to its barked repetition of the song title, though the rest of the album is no less inward-looking. 

The crux of the problem with ‘Requiem’ is that while it’s perfectly serviceable, Korn have done it all before, and better. As an examination of personal and global turmoil it generally works, but there’s not much in the way of memorable hooks or standout moments. It all points to a band retreading old ground without the urgency or creativity that made them such a force to be reckoned with originally.


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